Watch: Men dress up as women in this unique Kerala festival, internet calls it ''unbelievable''
Each Indian festival has its own unique way of celebration and people follow the traditions while celebrating the same. One such festival is the 'Chamayavilakku' festival which is celebrated at Devi Temple in Kollam district in Kerala in March every year. However, the most interesting aspect of the festival is that the men dress up as women, looking completely unrecognisable.
Sharing a glimpse of the festival, Indian Railways officer, Ananth Rupanagudi shared a photo of a man dressed as a woman holding a puja plate. According to his post, the man won first prize for the make-up in the contest held at the temple.
The picture was captioned, ''The Devi Temple in Kottamkulakara in Kollam district in Kerala has a tradition called the Chamayavilakku festival. This festival is celebrated by men who are dressed as women. The above picture is that of the man who won the first prize for the make-up In the contest.''
According to the Kerala tourism website, men from across the state ''doll up as damsels wearing sarees, shimmering trinkets, jasmine garlands and elaborate make-up to take part in this unique ritual.'' They hold the divine Chamayavilakku (traditional lamps) and walk around the temple as a symbol of their devotion to the presiding deity and grant their wishes.
The festival is celebrated every year in March for 19 days. The ritual which starts in the evening and continues till dawn takes place on the final two days of the 19-day-long festival. The festival has also turned out to be the largest congregation of the transgender community in Kerala as it offers them a space to celebrate their identity, the website said.
In 2020 and 2021, the festival was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Internet users were left shocked to see the picture and some said that it can be challenging to recognise them as men in women's attire.
One user said, ''I'd have never guessed. I wonder how he looks otherwise.'' Another commented, ''This is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!''
''What a diverse and beautiful country we have. And no one could say this pic of a man if not written. Beautiful humans,'' shared a third user.